Sunday, November 04, 2007

Negotiating for Peace

After the Vietnam War, I questioned whether there is something wrong with the Vietnamese people. Why are we keep fighting? Arent' we get sick and tired of this?

I was too young to save the country. It's painful to lose a country. It's painful to see the loss of lives from so many, and the pain inflicted on their families. I was curious as to why people to turn to violence and hurt their fellowman.

Many Vietnamese people was afraid when they first entered America. Many allow themselves to be mistreated without raising their voices ... because many feel this is not their land and they have no voice. They have had worse in their country. They feel they are lucky enough to be alive and this country let them live here. When I was young, I was idealistic ... and perhaps more confrontational. I often intervened. Some might view this as create troubles. But people are people, and they should be treated decently regardless of their country of origin. I told them, you are not doing this only for yourself, but for the next person they meet. They might not aware what they do offend you. Teach them to be a better person. And of course, there's the other extreme, every little undesirable things are interpreted as 'discrimination'. I was asked to intervene in those cases as well.

I told them when issues between them get to a point when they see no solutions but to kill one another, let me know, I might be able to help them find a way out. And amazingly enough, I received those calls and was able to intervene. My strategy is to see them as part of my family. I want neither of them of get hurt. Often, people have frustrations, and their frustrations are not being heard or are not getting through to the other person. When you show you care for them, often, they will drop down their weapons. The solution for them might not come right away, but they feel a little better because you care.

I must say I have retired from the world. I have the experience of being 'well known' and the associated interruptions by people with their problems, and the 'peace and tranquility' and the associated anonimity from the world - and between the two, I prefer the latter. And I would remain in my anonimity if Buddha hasn't appeared. You know you should be compassionate toward another. I don't know what more can I say to compel you to get there. If each of us do our part in being compassionate toward another, the world will get a whole lot better. I think we are moving there.

I have served the people during my peak in power, at times risking my life. I hope the people who are currently in their peak of power use this opportunity to implement strategies to serve the people better. It's not an either/or situation. You can create opportunities for those who have talents to get ahead as well as support the people who can't quite make it in their current situations. People go through their peaks and ebbs, and when they fall, at least provide a cushion so it doesn't hurt them as much when they fall.

But above all, to negotiate for peace, it starts with a caring heart ... for them. It's not about losing and not aware of the potential violence surrounding us. It's about transformation. Transform violence to peace, and that's what great leadership can do.


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